Anyways, in the country where I live now, if you're on the national insurance plan, and a student, you're assigned to a certain doctor and can't really change doctors, since it's hard to find a doctor who has free patient slots in the city healthcare system.
I have never been horribly enthused with my assigned doctor, but hey, I only have to pay a small co-pay a month, and I get most of my meds free due to the national healthcare. I wasn't feeling really great last winter, but most of my medical problems were fixed in due time (by other doctors that I was referred to), so when my stomach started hurting, I thought that it wouldn't take more than a month or so to get it fixed. Boy, was I wrong... On two separate visits I mentioned that I was having stomach aches and I felt bloated. The doctor was like "It's stress! It's all psychosomatic! It's a part of your depression!" I asked her if I should take any vitamins or avoid certain foods. She just waved me off.
My tummy got worse and worse, and I felt more and more bloated. Just before summer vacation I mentioned to the doctor once again that I wasn't feeling great. She said "Well, maybe it's IBS, but it's gonna be too much of an effort to test you. It's all psychosomatic blah blah blah antidepresants will make it better." I went on vacation, and within a week or two, my tummy simply stopped working. I thought it was due to travel - it happened to me before, no big deal. Unfortunately, it continued, and I got so nauseated while traveling with my boyfriend I needed to go to the ER. I couldn't go to the doctor all of July because I was across the country from my assigned doctor and the local clinic near our summer home seems to employ people barely out of med school who couldn't find their own stomachs, much less tell me what was wrong with mine.
My insides made a last-ditch effort and puttered through another 3 weeks before giving up the ghost. I developed nausea and mild acid reflux. I finally made it to the doctor's office to find another doctor filling in. She immediately ordered a test for Helicobacter (which turned out to be negative) and advised me what to eat, and gave me a prescription for acid reflux. She also ran my blood, but nothing stood out. Soon, my old doctor was back, and the tests magically ended, and I was being told it was all psychosomatic. I got no meds whatsoever from her, even though I told her I was quite constipated despite following the diet the other doctor suggested and didn't want to self-medicate too much. I went off on another trip, made rather fun by the fact that I couldn't digest anything well. During the whole ordeal, I acquired enough various remedies to kill a horse, and had to figure out by myself how to use them in a way so my bowel wouldn't get completely addicted to them...
After the fun experience overseas, my father recommended that I go to his doctor in another country, which I did. The doctor said that I DO have IBS, and immediately prescribed me medications non-addictive to my bowel that would make it work, and gave me detailed dietary advice. It took them a while to work, but at least I'm not in constant discomfort or pain. I still don't know how much my IBS will improve, or whether I will have to continue taking these medications for a long time. I had to pay about 100 times more for that visit than I do for my usual doc's co-pay, but at least the other doctor listened to me and actually did something about my illness. Needless to say, I'm still rather pissed at my usual doctor for not doing anything about my symptoms when they were still in the early stages.
Anyways, thanks for providing a place to rant!